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58504Re: [Authentic_SCA] OT: taking care of "archaelogical" stuff

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  • gedney@OPTONLINE.NET
    Sep 30, 2010
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      Here's what I would do:

      For the key, I would soak it for a week in a good oil, and gently brush the dirt off it with a "soft" toothbrush (placing it on a supportive surface, not holding it in your hands).

      For the sandal and other artifact, carefully work off as much dirt as you can using a dry natural bristle paint brush (again, placing it on a supportive surface, not holding it in your hands).
      Then place the items in a shallow pan of neatsfoot oil, and rub gently with a soft cloth soaked in the oil to remove the dirt.
      Allow the neatsfoot oil to soak in well for a few days and then drain on brown paper, changing the paper regularly.
      When the paper stops getting oily move the items to a sealable box lined with acid free paper.
      You can get frame boxes with glass tops at a craft store, that will allow you to store these items and be able to view them witheout disturbing their environment.

      For any of the items don't be obsessive about removing ALL the dirt.
      A little dirt is OK

      Pay attention to the leather items on a regular basis, and check for signs of molding.
      If there is mold that develops, gently rub it off with a soft cloth soaked in neatsfoot oil.

      Label each find carefully with where, when and how you found it.

      If the key seemed to be really just rust, there are preservative resins you should use instead of oil.
      Same with the leather items.
      If the leather seems really fragile, like it is coming apart in a sort of powdery fashion as you are cleaning it while dry, then stop.
      dont do anything.
      You can probably take it to a local museum for advice.
      They can either recommend products you can use to conserve it, or they might well conserve it for you for a small fee or the right to exhibit it for a time.

      Since these items dont seem that old (from your first mail) I think it is probably not that far gone and the oil cleaning will be OK.
      but be alert to the condition of the item as you go.



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